Backyard Landscaping Project: The Before

I’m finally getting the backyard landscaped! I’ve been talking about it since I moved into the house 5 years ago and it’s been one of my home goals since 2014. Today I want to share some before pictures (don’t judge me too harshly) and talk about plans for the yard. OK, let’s just jump into the current disaster area we call a back yard.

As you can see, it’s just a lot of dirt and A LOT of weeds. I purposely haven’t weed whacked recently for a few different reasons: 1) I wanted better before photos 2) The landscaper recommended not to cut down the weeds before spraying them 3) I’m lazy and I didn’t want to…

If you look closely you can see a trench dug near the edge of the patio. We had to dig that during a rainstorm a couple summers ago after the water flooded our patio and was heading towards the house. I think when they dug the pool they just spread out the excess dirt instead of removing all of it, so the backyard isn’t level and has never drained properly. On the right you can see our mound of excess dirt from digging the trench and trying to level out other areas in the yard. It’s probably hard to believe, but we’ve already hauled away multiple trailers of dirt. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH OF IT!

This back area is where we tried to do the landscaping ourselves. We had rented a bobcat for the weekend to level the dirt and load it to haul off. Then we had 12 tons of pea gravel delivered and spent another weekend wheelbarrowing it from the driveway to the back of the yard. I could barely lift my arms that night after shoveling rock all day. Then we woke up the next day to shredded weed plastic and a rock mess thanks to puppy Ringo. Needless to say, the weeds took advantage and our hard work/money ended up being a waste.

OK, now let’s talk plans! Obviously the weeds need to be cleared and the dirt leveled. After that they are going to lay weed plastic and gravel around the main yard. We’re also adding a drip system and two fruit trees in the yard. Once Ringo proves he can leave those alone (hopefully), we’ll add other plants. We haven’t decided on the exact location yet, but I’m also having them install a 10 foot by 12 foot paver conversation area for a fire pit. The quote for a built-in fire pit was a bit too high, so we decided to just buy a nice one from Home Depot/Target/wherever.

In the pool area, we are doing a border of river rock around the pool and then the rest will be the same gravel as the yard. We’ll eventually add some plants in this area too.

So, that’s the backyard plan. After that’s all complete, we’ll add furniture and decorations. Anyway, let’s quickly talk progress. On Thursday they came and sprayed all of the weeds. Yesterday they came and started clearing everything out. This is how the pool area looked when I got home from work yesterday. There’s still a lot of work left to do, but it’s looking better already. I can’t wait for it to be finished!

Next week I’ll share more progress pictures and some of my furniture/future plans!


  1. It is going to be amazing! Once you have something established to work with its much easier to maintain! It will be more fun and less stress! Can't wait to see!

  2. I can't wait to see the finished results! Our yard needs work too so no judgement here. It's gonna look so good with the pool and firepit!

  3. I'm so excited to see the progress :)


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